Private developers look at U housing crunch as opportunity

by Woody Woodward

University freshmen might spend a lot of time crashing on couches, but they all still need beds.

The dorms are full already and freshman classes keep getting bigger, reaching 5,000 people in the last few years. Increasing numbers of students are taking advantage of the University’s guarantee for housing, spilling over into hotels and study lounges early in the year.

So now, they’re building.

Two privately developed apartment complexes near the University, which will add about 1,100 about beds, have been approved and initiated. Two more might be on the way.

Marcy Park Apartments, constructed by Lupe Development, and Melrose apartments, developed by Integroup of Jacksonville, Fla., have broken ground.

Steve Minn of Lupe Development said Marcy Park Apartments at 10th Avenue and Eighth Street are expected to be completed sometime in 2002. The complex will feature around 145 beds.

Marcy Park Apartments will offer one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.

Minn described the apartments as “very large,” ranging from 1,000 to 1,450 square feet. He said prices will likely range from $900 to $2,000.

Melrose Apartments, at the intersections of Huron Boulevard, Essex and Delaware streets in Stadium Village, will be completed sometime in 2002.

The complex will feature approximately 924 beds.

“It’s important we work with
private developers to meet demand for student housing,” Mary Ann Ryan, director of housing, said.

Private developers have proposed projects at the I-94 and Huron exit, which would feature approximately 600 beds.

The other possible location, which would bring 450 to 500 beds to the East Bank, is at Sixth Avenue and Main Street.

University officials support the idea of using both private companies and residence halls to prevent crowded housing on campus.

Vice President for University Services Eric Kruse said private companies not only prevent overcrowding for residence halls but also ease the University’s financial burden of constructing new halls.

“We look at that (help of private companies) as being very positive,” Kruse said.


Brad Ellingson covers construction and facilities and welcomes comments at [email protected]